Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hey Bulldogs, are you Good enough?

No one is suggesting that UConn will get bumped off by Division II Bryant University on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Hartford Civic Center.

But ... consider the following:

  • Bryant gave Syracuse all it could handle before eventually falling, 92-86, last November at the Carrier Dome. The Orange played man-to-man all game, rather than their vaunted 2-3 zone, but still ...
  • Division II Grand Valley State popped off No. 8 Michigan State, 85-82, in double overtime on Friday night.
  • Division III (yes, Division III) Rhode Island College defeated Division 1 Holy Cross on Thursday night. Yes, that's the same Holy Cross team that the Huskies didn't want to face in this year's Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
  • UConn did give up 75 points to another Division II team, Assumption College, on Thursday night.

Does all this add up to a possible upset? Nope. More likely, the Huskies will roll over the Bulldogs by a score similar to last year's 70-45 final. And if that happens, it's fine with Bryant head coach Max Good.

"I wanted to play against the best teams I could possibly play," Good said. "I don't need to go to UCLA to get my brains beaten in. I can go to Storrs just fine, thank you. (It wouldn't be) the first time. I've been beaten from Maine to California. If we do, we pick up the pieces. You've got to learn to fight and compete. That's what life's all about."

If Good's name sounds familiar, it's because he coached for a season at UNLV and for five years at Eastern Kentucky. He also was the longtime head coach at Maine Central Institute, the prep school that's churned out numerous big-time collegiate players, including Caron Butler.

Good has known both Jim Calhoun and George Blaney for about 20 years.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Under the Assumption

Some tidbits from Wednesday's media availability with Jim Calhoun and the UConn Huskies, prior to their exhibition opener Thursday night against Division 2 Assumption in Storrs:

  • Calhoun wants to establish a set rotation early this season, something the Huskies didn't do last year as they searched for an identity virtually the whole season.
  • The starting five vs. Assumption figures to be Jerome Dyson at point guard, Craig Austrie at the two, Stanley Robinson at the three, Jeff Adrien at power forward and Hasheem Thabeet at center.
  • Calhoun believes Austrie is in a good place right now, and that he could be the Huskies' best outside shooter and second-best defensive player (after Dyson).
  • Dyson is suffering from back spasms after getting elbowed in the back during a one-on-one box-out drill in Tuesday's practice, but he sais he'll "definitely" be ready to play on Thursday.
  • Curtis Kelly has been UConn's leading scorer in the preseason. According to Adrien, Kelly is the team's most improved player.
  • Calhoun said Thabeet has improved "200 percent" over the past year.
  • The coach promised UConn won't "win, 51-7 and run up the score" on the Greyhounds.
  • Calhoun actually played against Assumption coach Serge DeBari when DeBari was at Assumption and Calhoun was playing for AIC.